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Eder, M.D. (1928). Stammering. A Psychoanalytic Interpretation: By Isador H. Coriat, M.D. (New York and Washington: Nervous and Mental Disease Publishing Company. Pp. 68.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 9:362-363.

(1928). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 9:362-363

Stammering. A Psychoanalytic Interpretation: By Isador H. Coriat, M.D. (New York and Washington: Nervous and Mental Disease Publishing Company. Pp. 68.)

Review by:
M. D. Eder

Clinically, pathologically, psycho-analytically, stammering is full of paradox. One per cent. of school-children stammer; there must be 70, 000 to 80, 000 school-children in these islands to-day who stammer, and yet physicians pay little heed to the trouble. Stammering is not a speech defect, and yet it is said to be almost non-existent in Italy, Spain, Portugal, Roumania, the lands of soft sounds. Stammering is very resistant to treatment, and yet quite a considerable proportion of stammering children recover spontaneously—without any form of treatment; despite all the advertised claimants, it is most rare for any of the 'suggestive' treatments (by direct or indirect suggestion—phonative, breathing, etc.) to produce permanent cure, yet tradition allows that the most eloquent of the Greeks had cured himself of stammering by auto-suggestion. Stammering is usually associated with infantile character traits, making the stammerer very inadequate to perform life's ordinary tasks, yet Moses, whom tradition also makes a stammerer ('I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue'), was selected by no one less than God himself to deliver Israel.

The specialists have examined the teeth, the tongue, the nose, the throat, and finding nothing amiss, they said it was 'nervous, ' and the physician then said it was all the fault of the parents or the nurses and handed the child over to instructors and infallible methods based upon a physiology all their own, a pathology ad hoc and an optimism fortunately undauntable by experience.

During the last twenty years the psycho-analysts have had a look in, but, as was only proper, in difficult and complicated cases where the adult had come to an end of his tether and where stammering was only one amid a list of other anxiety symptoms. Now at all events some light is thrown upon the condition, the difficulties of treatment are recognised and though there are, as Dr. Coriat admits, many problems still unsolved, we have in his mongraph the first acceptable scientific study of the subject. That does not mean that entire agreement has yet been reached among psychoanalysts. To take a few points where difference of opinion still exists, a purely technical point, yet not without its consequences: Dr.

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